ERIC Number: ED344992
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
What's New in the News? Comprehension of the News among Adults with Limited Formal Education.
An Israeli study determined what happens when persons with low-literacy levels read news accounts that presuppose general knowledge that the writer expects them to have, but that they may not necessarily possess. The study sample consisted of about 600 students, mostly women, in 30 literacy centers throughout the country. In each class, adult students were given a sample news article from an easy Hebrew weekly and asked to explain it. Students' explanations were written down verbatim. In addition, 2 students in each of the 30 classes studied were interviewed in 1-2 hour interviews; they read news articles on politics, economics, and human interest, and their explanations were recorded. The most important findings of the study were as follows: (1) when the readers do not understand, they interpret; and (2) the decoding process in instances of noncomprehension occurs according to a system, on both macro and micro levels. The study's contribution to reading comprehension theory lies in its highlighting of the pragmatic aspect of comprehension and in its development of a method for examining the pragmatic element by identifying, listing, and comparing the propositions of the news discourse and the reader's reconstruction of it. The study shows that prior knowledge must not be assumed and that writers should be aware of the "missing link" between their words and their readers' comprehension. (81 references) (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Learning, Adult Literacy, Content Area Reading, Decoding (Reading), Educational Background, Foreign Countries, Literacy Education, News Writing, Newspapers, Reader Response, Reader Text Relationship, Reading Comprehension, Reading Processes
Martin Buber Institute for Adult Education, Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel ($7; quantity price $5).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem (Israel). Martin Buber Inst. for Adult Education.
Note: Published for International Literacy Year 1990.